When a couple cannot conceive naturally, they often turn to in-vitro fertilisation. And that’s when the spectre of ‘aneuploidy’ arises — the risk that a fertilised embryo will have an abnormal number of chromosomes instead of the usual 46, triggering a range of congenital disorders, most of which result in miscarriage, stillbirth or death of the baby soon after birth. Continue reading
Medical researchers face a hurdle when studying cells under an optical microscope — the laws of physics. Obtaining an image of anything below a certain size is complicated; optical apertures and the wavelength of visible light play havoc with clarity. Known as the diffraction limit, it was first encountered by German physicist Ernst Abbe in 1873, and limits the resolution to 200 nanometres (nm) at best (or 200 billionths of a metre). Continue reading
A host of diseases – like meningitis, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s disease, even some cancers – are ultimately caused by problems at the cellular level. Hence, understanding what is happening inside cells is essential. Observing cells under a microscope helps, but what medical researchers would really like to do is see processes inside cells in minute detail. Continue reading
Dr Asma Khalid enjoys wearing silk dresses, and appreciates diamonds for their beauty —but she never expected both silk and diamonds to end up being the cornerstone of her work as a physicist. Yet they have opened up a whole new way to see deep in the body, sense infections on the skin and even deliver drugs in controlled amounts. Continue reading
Pain is one of the most complicated ailments to treat because the symptoms and severity are subjective and current medications are associated with a variety of problems including addiction and abuse. This makes it tough for doctors to accurately assess patient’s pain levels and prescribe the best pain management tool for the individual. The complex mechanisms underlying pain are the reason why researchers can take decades to develop new treatments. Continue reading
There are three main types of pain: nociceptive pain, the type we’re most familiar with, from bee stings and ankle strains to inflammatory arthritis. There’s neuropathic pain, arising from damage to the peripheral nervous system or the brain itself due to disease or injury. Then there are functional pain disorders arising from complex organic dysfunction, sometimes called ‘primary pain’, but most often just known as ‘other’. Continue reading
Australia is the sunniest continent on Earth — which is why it also has the highest rates of skin cancer. But plentiful sunlight is also likely responsible for the lesser known ‘ocular surface cancer’, which occurs when abnormal cells on the eye grow and divide in an uncontrolled way. Continue reading
By Prof Mark Hutchinson and Dr Kathy Nicholson
As we move into week two of voluntary self-isolation, remote workplaces have become the new normal.
Within the CNBP network, we find ourselves drawing on the past six years of managing a community of over 200 researchers who work and collaborate on our research program across the globe. Continue reading
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal cancers, but difficult to diagnose: few sufferers have symptoms until the cancer has become large or already spread to other organs. Even then, symptoms can be vague and easily misconstrued as more common conditions. Continue reading
As one of the first members of the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, Professor Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem’s work touches virtually every piece of research at the centre.
She develops the optical glass fibres, along with their crucial coatings, that deliver information about the environment they are designed to measure. Continue reading